Monday, December 10, 2007

Padre Mzungu

After rounds this morning, we traveled to Esiandumba for church and a harambee/ fund-raiser that followed for the archdeacon's house. The processional brought tears to my eyes and heart, and Zach's sermon was brilliant. Padre Mzungu (Father White Man) compared Advent, the time for important silent preparation for Christ, to the time for important silent preparation that a Kenyan runner experiences at the beginning of a race: "On your mark..." The congregation was spellbound.

We arrived at 9:30 AM and left at 3:30 PM. (Sam, where were you?) Church included two hours of announcements, tea, one hour of fundraising and lunch. There were perhaps 350 people present; at the offering, each person walked to the chancel and his/her contribution was announced -- "ten bob," "100 shillings," and so on. I couldn't help but wonder how that would work in our Vineyard churches.

We shared a quiet evening meal again at the Hardisons' on the grounds of St. Philip's, then returned to Rotary House to bake a cake for Mary, our next-door-neighbor and Peace Corps volunteer. She will leave on Tuesday, her first trip back to the States in a year, for Christmas with her family in Florida.

As we walked through the hospital grounds en route home, we noticed the nursing school students had gathered in one dorm to watch a fuzzy color television picture. "Second Chance" and "Rebecca" are the soap operas of the moment in Kenya. "Sunday Night at the Movies" seemed almost as well attended as our day-long church service.

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